The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have.
Sometimes inspiring quotes are found on Twitter.
I went to Centerville High School to talk to high school kids about myself, my accident story and recovery, the specific accommodations, helpful resources and strategies for learning that I used after the accident that left me with a severe traumatic brain injury. I went from being in General Education classes in high school to the Special Education classes I needed to take after my accident; adjusting was difficult. The special education wing in my high school was located downstairs, where all the freshmen and sophomore classes were held, while all my friends were seniors and my new class, with who I was graduating were juniors and all were located upstairs.
I learned some study tips in high school, but I feel like learning coping mechanisms and strategies that work with my disability occurred mostly when I had started attending school at Longwood. I was away from the sheltering of my parents and the high school that already knew me and my problems. I shared with the high school students at CVHS the reason I personally selected Longwood University out of all the colleges that there are to attend. I was looking for a school that would be able to work with strategies for my newly acquired learning disability and found Longwood University to have the most resourceful disability program in the state.
At Longwood, I found that writing what I needed to remember down was the most useful tool; using an actual planner to write EVERYTHING down, specifically due dates, flashcards and post-its for studying and repetition in all important information. I shared some other tactics that had helped me, certain accommodations that were made and I spoke of the creative minds in Academic Support Center at Longwood who are willing to try different types of accommodations. As a student, advocating for yourself is key; explaining what you need. I shared with the high school-ers all the resources that were provided and what personally worked for me. Just describing and sharing personal stories of Longwood to prospective students is a way of giving back to my Alma mater. Giving back to Longwood is not all about donating monetarily after graduation, but possibly sharing your experiences and helping prospective students learn more about Longwood.
I am not afraid to admit that I was scared going to college away from home. Although it was very hard, I ended up graduating high school, going on to spend 5 years and graduating college. Longwood provided the most comfortable transition that I can imagine any school having. Talking to the high school-ers with learning disabilities about the resources that the academic support center has available is a way to let the current high schoolers know of the resources that Longwood provides. The staff at the Academic Support Center is very welcoming and willing to work with any difficulties you may have- no matter what problems you may be having. I went on to use many of the coping strategies at Longwood to help me in the world after school, working in the activity department at a nursing home for 9 years. Who we are is what we do with what we have. We must play with the cards that life has dealt us.
I won’t let a brain injury hold me down; we all must work with the cards that life’s dealt us- even if they don’t make sense at the moment, it’s all in God’s plan.